Popheads Featuring... SkottSince she released her debut single, "Porcelain" and caught the attention of pop legends such as Katy Perry and Lorde, Skott has made a name for herself performing sophisticated progressive pop focused on ethereal atmospherics and expressive lyrics. Popheads sat down with Skott to discuss an array of topics including the pressures of being signed to a major label, the freedom of being independent, Zelda and her new single "Tired" featuring Shylde. Born Pauline Skott, Skott grew up in a small community in Vikarbyn, Sweden, known for its traditional customs and own language. Since most of the village was comprised of folk musicians, Skott learned to play violin at a very young age. In fact, she wouldn't hear contemporary music until her teenage years, when she made a trip to the city and discovered Muse. As an avid gamer, she also delved into video game music, composing imaginary soundtracks to favourites like Final Fantasy and Zelda. Later, she decided to pursue music and enrolled at the Musikmakarna music school. Blending the sounds of contemporaries like Lorde, LÉON, and Susanne Sundfør, Skott made her debut in 2016 with the single "Porcelain". She quickly followed with "Amelia" and "Lack of Emotion" before the year's end. In 2017, she issued "Glitter & Gloss," "Mermaid," and "Remain," touring with artists like MØ and Phantogram. Since releasing her album Always Live For Always last year, Skott has returned with her new track "Tired". Popheads wanted to celebrate the track and it's music video's release with Skott. Find below Tom from Popheads conversation with Skott. https://preview.redd.it/7ym9b87w5px61.jpg?width=2384&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=4a4b7590a9a07f1cf84f3d34b6ce8fdb819b1471 So, I’m very excited about this interview because you are one of the few artists in my life where I remember exactly where I was when I first heard you. I was driving through Sydney, Australia with a friend and we were listening to a playlist full of songs from Lorde, Florence etc. and they were like ‘I want to show you this singer’. They started to play Wolf and immediately, I was intrigued. Then that chorus hit and I was taken away, I remember thinking it was a unique vocal and then the key change and oof. Do you have an artist in your life that you remember hearing the first time specifically? Thank you so much! That is an awesome story. I'm so happy to hear that. I can visualise it, it feels like a really good setting. I have actually one artist that manages to stand out in this way that she made me cry instantly a few times when I heard her music, and that's very rare because I don't really do that so often with music. That artist is Susanne Sundfør. I was at school and there was just a friend playing her stuff. I was studying production and song-writing at this school so I was very much, of course, just sitting by the computer all day. I was basically trying to learn logic at the time and then, yeah, my friend just showed me her music and it was instant love. There seems like such an array of diverse genres throughout your music, because this is Popheads, I am wondering if you could tell us some of your pop music influences? That's a good question. Everything you listen to and enjoy will influence you in one way or another, but for me, it's like almost a big blur mixed with folk music, the soundtrack, cinematic stuff and I love putting that stuff into my pop writing. I remember the first pop-rock band that kind of converted me into the more commercial music was Muse. At the moment though, I don't listen so much to top 40, or so much music in general. I think because I spend so much time in the studio almost every day writing so when I come home, I enjoy the silence. It sounds boring, but It's almost like, I can get overstimulated. All I hear for 10 hours is music and then I go home but my new video for “Tired” which just came out is actually full of pop references, it’s got a 90s or 2000s MTV vibe that me and my friends had a blast making You’ve also cited in previous interviews that you are a big fan of Zelda and Final Fantasy. I need to know, which games from those series are your favourites? Actually, with Final Fantasy, I've never played it but I've been listening so much to the soundtracks, that's kind of how I fell in love with the video game soundtrack world. I discovered how much good music can be in video games. I listened to the soundtracks so much when I was younger. But the Zelda games definitely are my favourite. I’m finally about to finish Breath of The Wild but my favourites from the series are Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess. You’ve also mentioned that you had a background in folk music and at one point was interested in video games and soundtracks. When did you discover you could be a musician for a career? Well, music has always been such a natural part of my life because my sisters and I have been playing violins since we were basically walking and where I come from, there is a huge presence of folk music everywhere. I was always around music, learning by ear. I tried to learn sheet music, but it was too late. I would just pretend to my teachers that I was reading the sheets, but I was just trying to imitate them, so I was helpless. So music's just been natural, but I never thought of it as a profession until quite recently, I’m actually still a bit surprised when I realise, ‘Oh yeah. I guess I'm working with music only’, and that still surprises me because to my family, that's not a normal thing. It kind of just happened. I was trying to please my dad for a long time, I was very involved in scientific subjects at school, like physics, chemistry and nature so I thought for a very long time that I would do something like that as a career. But then, when I was 13 years old, I started to learn how to produce very simple instrumentals and that became like my big hobby. After school, I would always just sit in darkened rooms writing hundreds of little weird songs with interesting styles that I made for many years, imagining that I did it for some imaginary video game or dreaming that I was making soundtracks. Your music has such specific details within the song-writing. I am curious, are you writing from a personal place or from a fictional point of view, or maybe both? The process usually starts with just chords and melodies. I sit at the piano and play some chords; I hum some melodies and I do that until I start feeling something in my tummy. I seek out that emotion. When it's kind of intense and clear what the emotion is, I know that I've found something. I begin to search for harmonies and melodies that resonate with something within me. That can feel pretty personal in a way because it brings out everything. I start to try to figure out what is it I'm feeling and why am I feeling like this. I translate my emotions. I can pinpoint it to something that I'm going through or something a friend is going through or something from the past or a dream or something else, and then it gets very personal and that is how it becomes specific sometimes, but sometimes it's more like the feeling that I'm carrying around needs to be vented out. When you first came onto the music scene, it seemed like you instantly blew up with tracks like “Porcelain”, “Mermaid” and “Wolf”. Those tracks garnered so much attention so fast. Did you feel any pressure to match the success of those tracks or was it liberating to feel that you could create anything now? Yeah, maybe a little bit because now I've started my own record company and everything is so much easier. The only person I need to consider is myself. I used to be at a major record label (RCA) and there I could feel that they were always wanting the next song to be more of a hit than the last one and that was very hard for me and I found it so difficult to write. I can't write with that in mind, I don’t want to write a hit or something that will impress other popular artists. I have to just write whatever I feel. It's almost like I have no choice when I write. I have to write something that feels like me and that’ll just happen when I create it and then I have to release it and the songs get their own lives as soon as they are being released and I have no idea what's going to happen with them. You’ve also had experience writing with TXT. How was that experience writing for a K-pop group and would you consider writing for other artists in the future? I literally just got a track from their label and apparently someone from there were fans. They asked me if I could write something to the track so I was just at home on my couch and writing ideas and it was kind of weird because that's how it happened. I just wrote it from home and sent it back and then they just liked it and released it. I really hope to meet them one day as I am a fan. Your album Always Live for Always came out in June 2020. Were you still writing during the Coronavirus pandemic and did that impact your music in any way? If not, how did it feel to release your album during the pandemic. I think it definitely had affected the way the album was being released, but it was also during this time that I had been writing extra much because I didn’t have any live shows or anything like that. There's been a lot of new music in the making because of that and while I think it wasn't the best time to release an album, I'm so happy that it's out and now I can continue onto the next one. When ALFA came out, I’d just started touring to promote the album, when the pandemic hit. So I literally played one festival in Mexico, then the airports shut down and I was almost stranded there. My band, sound engineer and manager couldn’t even fly in, so me and my visuals person had to put on the whole show by ourselves. I have the Vive Latino poster framed in my living room now, that was such a wild memory! https://preview.redd.it/5eruhmaz5px61.jpg?width=2759&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=88500e39c36242381f8f9123ef8e08e669321486 Your new track with Shylde “Tired” is fantastic!!! Congratulations on the release again. What’s the story of the song and how did you guys link up? Why did you want to collaborate with them on this track? We were working on “Tired” and we had this piano sample recorded and it’s funny because it never stops and there is no point in that. It's just like automating the volume so it goes down and then up always. The beat basically keeps going forever and ever and ever. Never stopping. That is the purpose of the track because we thought it was interesting as we're so tired but we're also singing about how we keep going. it places this energy for the listener and the beat keeps going in a loop. So, even though it's kind of a negative song in this sense that you're singing about how tired you are and you almost are giving up, you're not actually giving up. Shylde is actually my guitarist! We were already friends. I was supposed to write for him and this song was supposed to be for him but I got so into the song that we were making it and I kept singing along in the studio and he was like ‘I mean, we can just do it together, if you'd like’? That was amazing because the song became so special to me as well. That's how we wrote it. We sang it together. We were jamming together. So why not just release it that way? What’s the future hold for Skott, can we expect the next album to drop soon? Yes, I’m currently working on a new one with a much ‘warmer’ vibe and my new video for “Tired” just dropped, I play a bunch of different characters and it’s the most fun video I’ve made yet, so make sure to check it out! ------------------------------------- Listen to Skott's new single "Tired" here: https://lnk.to/Skott-Tired Watch the fun new music video for "Tired" out today here: https://youtu.be/Xa1aa9ykmNk Interview conducted via Zoom by u/pierce_newton Written by Tom N (u/pierce_newton) Images courtesy of Sharogh Rouhani
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